A couple of weeks back we had some alright-ish weather (what us Brits call ‘summer’) and I decided to take my camera along when we talk the dogs for a walk.

If you’ve ever tried to photograph pets you’ll know how tricky it can be. They wander around as if they’re unaware you’re trying to take pictures of them.

Here are a few more pictures and I’ve thrown in a couple of pictures of Crunchie for the cat fans.

I feel like the these two pictures of Dylan should be made into a GIF where his ears are flapping up and down.

Bert usually looks like he’s grinning but for some reason he was wearing his scared / horrified face.

It’s the fangs that do it for me in this picture, they look so funny.

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Spoiler free!

Description from GoodreadsMaddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob – the man she’s about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben – best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that’s the problem.

Because if it wasn’t Rob waiting for her at the altar, there’s a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it.


Occasionally I like a good bit of a chick lit. I saw someone tweet about You’re The One That I want and decided to look into it after falling in love with the cover. (I know, I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I do.)

The outcome is predictable and that much is clear from the description. Usually that would be a very bad thing but this book isn’t about being unpredictable; it’s about the journey the characters take to reach the end point.

The story is told from the point of view of Maddy and Ben, with some short excerpts from Rob, starting from when they first met at 9 years old. All three of the main characters were well developed and realistic.

I was instantly hooked by this book and I finished it in under 24 hours. It was so absorbing and wonderfully written.

You felt the characters joy and you felt the characters pain and despair, it was infectious. At times it was heartwarming and at others heartbreaking.

It was also easy to relate to. Though we may not go through the exact experiences in the book I think there are a lot of people who will have experienced at least one of those events and understand how the character felt.

It was also nostalgic for me as the characters grow up in the 90s and 00s. It took me back to days at school I’d forgotten about.

I could gush about this book for a while but you need to read it to appreciate it for yourself. It’s beautifully written, relatable and you feel the characters emotions.

In short: A wonderfully written books about a journey through friendship, falling in love and heartbreak.

Cost: £2.99 from Amazon UK on Kindle – Link – price correct as of 23/05/2014

Would I recommend it: Absolutely. I’m not a massive fan of chick lit but I do enjoy it occasionally and this was wonderful.

Have you read You’re The One That I Want? If you haven’t, would you? 
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A couple of weeks back went on a day trip to York with some of our friends. It was the first time I’d ever been and I have no idea why I hadn’t gone before, it’s such a beautiful city.

As well as being a beautiful city with some beautiful buildings, they love cats! There’s a ‘cat trail’ in York, which you can follow around the city looking for cats on the fronts of buildings, there was also a shop for cat lovers which had a board game called Catopoly in the window. I’d love to play that.

Here are a few more pictures from the day.

A beautiful Italian restaurant, I can’t remember what it was called now though.

Zatchel’s Hello Kitty collection <3

Have you ever been to York?
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I love country music, always have done and always will do. My favourite country music is the stuff that gets you tapping your feet and dancing (very awkwardly may I add) at your desk. 

I like to share the country music love; here are 12 of my favourite country music songs to get you dancing, stomping your feet and tapping your desk. (Links go to YouTube)

Shania Twain – Rock This Country: The title pretty much says it all, if you aren’t dancing and whooping along to this, there’s something wrong with you.

The Band Perry – I Am A Keeper.: This was a tough choice, The Band Perry have so many great songs that make you feel badass but this is my favourite.

Kelly Clarkson – Tie It Up: After hearing this I’m desperate for Kelly to do some more country stuff, this song is brilliant.

Lady Antebellum – Friday Night: Whatever you do, don’t listen to this on a Monday morning because this song screams Friday night party time. (Not that I’d know mind you, I don’t go out.)  

Luke Bryan – My Kinda Night: The lyrics to this song are ridiculous and so catchy. My favourite lines are ‘floating down the flint river, catch ourselves a little catfish dinner, gonna sound like a winner, when I lay you down and love you right, yeah that’s my kinda night.’ Everyone knows the key to a woman’s heart is a catfish dinner…

Hunter Hayes – More Than I Should: Hunter Hayes is crazy talented – he played every instrument on his first album. His self-titled first album is fantastic and I’m eagerly awaiting his second album which will be released in the US May 6th, not sure when it comes out over here. Anyone know?

Charlie Worsham – Want Me Too: I discovered Charlie Worsham on Bones a couple of weeks ago and have been loving his music since then.

Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats: I dare you not to sing to this feeling sassy. I’m never sure how I feel about the word sassy. 

Taylor Swift – Should’ve Said Now: Ahhh back when Taylor was country. I do remember there was a version of this song where a line said ‘I’ll tell mine [friends] you’re gay’, unsurprisingly that line didn’t appear to make it onto her album.

Dolly Parton – 9 to 5: What kinda country music fan would I be if I didn’t put Dolly on this list. Chances are that even if you hate country, you know the words to this.

Lady Gaga – You & I: The first time I heard this I thought it was Shania Twain, it turned out it’s produced by Shania’s ex-husband Mutt Lange which explains a lot.

Hugo – 99 Problems: Yes, that’s right a country version of 99 problems. This is by far one of my favourite internet discoveries so far this year. It sounds almost classy with a banjo.

Please, please share some of your favourite country songs with me. 

 

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Warning: Contains spoilers about the entire Legend series

I finished the Legend series by Marie Lu a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post a series roundup for, like I did for Twilight, for a while now. 
This review will contain spoilers about the entire series, so if you haven’t started it or finished it, I suggest you stop reading.
The Legend series sat on my tbr list for a while and most of it was due to a few bad reviews I saw about the first book in the series, Legend. When I rejoined the library last year, it was the first book I picked up. 
I’m glad I took the risk because it’s on par with Divergent as my favourite series now and I’m gonna tell you why. 
World building
Marie Lu’s world building is by far the best I’ve ever come across. It’s so intricate and I felt like I was there.

What was even better is that it didn’t feel forced or like she was spending too much time going into detail about the surroundings, it just worked.

Ross City sounded beautiful and I want to go to her version as I imagine the real Ross City is considerably less colourful. 

Plot
All three books had exciting and unpredictable plots that dragged me in from the first page and didn’t let go until the end.

As you may have heard me say before I do like books in a series to stand up on their own and I think all three do.

Though there is a bigger plot throughout the series, each book has its own problems which are ‘solved’ by the end of the book, so we aren’t left waiting for the next installment to find out how it ends.

The best example of a book that doesn’t do that for me, is The Elite, it doesn’t solve any issues and pushes the result of the selection into the next book, The One.  
The pacing was perfect and I honestly didn’t feel that any parts were moving too slow or too fast. In short, this series is written very well. 
Characters + character development 

I really enjoy getting to the end of a series and looking back on what the characters were like at the start of the first book.

All of the characters were well built, June and Day especially and they went through a huge amount of development during the trilogy. Who would have ever imagined that Day would support Anden when they read Legend? Certainly not me. 

As well as doing a cracking job of character development, Lu also changed my opinion on Anden. 
In the first book I didn’t like him, he came across as a posh, creepy Daddy’s boy, but my opinion of him really changed in Prodigy and Champion and I grew to like him. Shall I let you in on a little secret? I think I’m Team Anden.
Even the minor characters were interesting and had their own story, like Thomas: he was an interesting character and I liked that we got to learn more about him as the series went on. When I read Legend I thought he was going to be a good guy and maybe even form a love triangle. Boy was I wrong.

The way Lu kept Metias’ character involved throughout the series was very clever considering he dies during the first few pages. You feel his presence throughout the book and you get to learn more about him which is nice, especially considering he did start it all. 

When I reviewed Legend I complained that June and Day’s inner monologue was similar and at times it was easy to forget which POV you were reading. Throughout Prodigy and Champion especially, I didn’t find that to be a problem and their ‘voices’ became quite different and easy to distinguish. 
I also moaned about their age. Both characters are around 15-16 but to me they came across as 18-19 and that’s certainly how I viewed them in my head, especially in Champion. Age is a strange thing in books. 
Romance
Day and June’s romance is really interesting, it’s not straight forward and they have a lot of issues to try and overcome.

I think what I liked most about their romance was that it smouldered throughout the series but I don’t think it every became more important than the plot, which is refreshing.

While I enjoyed their romance, I get why they would struggle to make it work and again it was refreshing to see a romance that wasn’t straightforward because they had so many serious issues to work through. 

As I mentioned earlier I developed a bit of a soft spot for Anden, especially when June and Anden travelled to Antartica and we saw his vulnerable side. I was happy at the end when we learn that June and Anden became an item but I was sad to learn they broke up and I can again see why it wouldn’t really work. 
The ending
Series endings are difficult, they have to live up to a lot of expectations and you’ll never be able to please everyone. 
I was really happy with the end of Champion and I enjoyed that it was kind of open and we were left to make our own mind up about whether June and Day would have remained friends or developed a romantic relationship again. 
The ending really wrapped everything up and I enjoyed the way Lu described the 10 years passing. The one that really got me was June’s first birthday without Ollie, OLLIE SHOULD HAVE LIVED FOREVER! *Sobs* 
The ending wrapped everything well and I think it was a satisfying end to the series. 
In short: I loved the Legend series and has replaced The Hunger Games as my second favourite series. 
I read that the rights to the film have been bought however its not in production yet, I really hope it becomes a film because I’d love to see this series brought to life on the big screen. Though they better not butcher it the way Divergent was butchered, still unhappy about that. 
If you’ve finished the series, I really recommend you listen to The Defective Geeks podcast with Marie Lu, it’s worth a listen.

My reviews:
LegendProdigyChampion

What did you think of the Legend series? 

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Typing this out I’m pretty darn giddy: I’ve had an article published in May’s edition of Fiterazzi magazine. 

Earlier this year I read an interview with Cameron Diaz where she spoke about her thoughts on calling girls pretty. That inspired me to write my own thoughts on it and weave in my own personal experiences.

That’s been published on Fiterazzi and perhaps more excitingly, it’s on the cover of their May edition!

If you’d like to read it, here it is: Fiterazzi – Is it wrong to call girls pretty?

What do you think, is it wrong? 
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